Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Clock Watching

Last night my son's basketball team traveled to a nearby community for an "away" game. The contest was a battle between winless teams, so both wanted the victory pretty badly.

The score was close throughout the contest. In the last quarter it was especially nip and tuck. With 6.2 seconds remaining, our team was up by three. The opponents brought the ball in and quickly moved it up the floor. They shot a three and missed. It was then that our assistant coach and several of the fans noticed that the game clock had not been started.

As the shot attempt clanged off the rim and was rebounded by the offense, our coach and fans began to go ape. We were screaming "start the clock!" Another three-pointer was lofted, missed and rebounded. Finally the clock started, but not before one of their players was able to take a third attempt. This one dropped in, tying the game just as time (finally) expired.

Now, if you've ever been to a hotly contested sports event, you can pretty well guess what happened next. Pandemonium. Anger. Sharp words. The officials asked the clock keeper what happened, and he admitted that he forgot to start the clock. I don't doubt him. After all, he's some volunteer, and I'd bet the farm that he had no ill intent, but was just caught up in the game like the rest of us.

In the overtime period, our boys managed to pull out the win by one point. I'm glad. Otherwise we might have seen a real brawl.

The whole scenario made me think about time. Is the clock running on me? Does it ever stop? The Bible tells us that God has ". . .decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer." (Job 14:5, NLT)

The clock is running on me and on you. Let's follow the Apostle Paul's advice and "make the most of every opportunity.

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